Fun 3-D Turkey Brookie (Brownie+Cookie) Dessert Project
Just in time for Thanksgiving, I came up with a fast and fun dessert project. It's more about decorating (the fun part) than the cooking; that's why I called it a project.
Sometimes you just feel like being a little creative and cooking, but don't want to do that much.
It involves brownies(!) and cookies(!) -- that's why I
called it a "brookie", though I guess it's not a
traditional "brookie" which is typically a chocolate
chip cookie and brownie in one cookie bar.
After this, you'll get a 3-D delicious turkey brookie in no time! You might be even better at decorating than me and they would look even better. :) It's all really fun and tastes good anyways.
I did 2 versions: one is super easy and one is easy. I think the super easy version will take you 40 min. from start to finish even with baking brownies (from brownie mix). It's possible it could be even faster if you use pre-made brownies. The brownies you use have to be sturdy and at least ~1 1/2" tall, so you can stick some cookies in there.
I wrote it more of a Steps/Instructions form immediately below. I also put some information on some of the experiments I did and how I came up with the project / recipe.
There are 2 parts: cookies and brownies.
You start with the cookies, then bake the brownies.
- Mint Milanos (Super Easy) or Pillsbury Cookie Dough (Easy) -- Turkey head / feathers
- Betty Crocker Brownie Mix -- Turkey body
- Candy corn (what I used) or caramel chips/chocolate chips -- Turkey beak
- Red mini M&Ms or red sprinkles -- Turkey "wattles" (red part under the beak)
- Mini-M&Ms (what I used) or Candy Eyes -- Turkey eyes
For decorating the feathers and turkey heads:
- Pillsbury frosting
- Anything else you want :)
Supplies: paper cupcake cups (You bake the brownies in cupcake cups; details below), muffin pan, baking sheet.
Super easy / Store-bought cookies: If you do not feel like baking cookies, you can either use Mint Milanos (or other flavor/oval-shaped cookie). Skip the cookie baking / shaping part below then and proceed to brownie section.
Easy / Pre-made cookie dough:
Otherwise, I used Pillsbury Sugar cookie dough to form the head and back feathers.
The cookie dough comes in these oval-shapes that are about 1" x 1.25".
- Cut them in half lengthwise and press on them a little bit to make them wider. They probably ended up ~4-5 mm thick. Bake for ~12 minutes at 350 degrees or according to package.
Basically you are making a sugar cookie the size of a Mint Milano. :) If you are using the cookie dough in the roll version, then just the cookie dough to this size. I just used this bread pan instead of the cookie sheet because I wasn't making that many.
I actually recommend that you bake the cookies for the head and feathers on one baking sheet to make it faster. I just happened to be working on them separately.
- Cut the cookie dough pieces lengthwise into thirds (left picture).
- Bake for ~12 minutes at 350 degrees or according to package.
- When the cookies come out of the oven and are still warm, cut them in half or so the cookies are ~1cm in width. I found even though I cut the cookies into thirds before putting it in the oven, they were still too wide to be feathers. :) [Side note: Unfortunately, you can't cut Milanos into halves to make slender feathers. I tried. It doesn't work. See below.]
Brownies / Turkey Body
- Prepare brownie mix into batter according to package.
- Put the paper cupcake cups into the muffin pan.
- Spoon brownie batter into each cupcake compartment until the batter is ~7mm-1 cm from the top (see photos).
- You need the brownies to be pretty tall, at least 1 1/2", to be able to stick the cookies in. Don't worry; brownies don't rise that much. I found that 1 package was enough to make 11 turkey bodies.
It seems funny to bake brownies in cupcake shape, but I found that when I was trying to cut circles out of a typical baking pan to make the brownie bodies it was a lot harder and didn't work (see below). It's also neater and easier to serve. See below. I don't think cupcakes (cake) would work for this because I think the cookies would fall over. You need brownies for this because they are more sturdy and structurally sound.
Bake for ~25 min. at 350 degrees.
Decorating the head and feathers:
While the brownies are baking, you can decorate the head and feathers.
- Spread some frosting on the cookie (Mint Milano or sugar cookie) so everything sticks.
- Eyes: 2 Mini-M&Ms (blue, green or brown) or Candy Eyes
- Beak: 1 Candy corn (what I used)
- "Wattles" (red part under the beak) : 2-3 Red mini M&Ms or red sprinkles
Note: When using red sprinkles for the wattle, you have to place them carefully with your fingers or tweezers, you can't just press the cookie down in sprinkles as for the feathers (described below) because then the "wattle" would be the width of the entire head.
I got a little lazy and mostly did the multi-colored sprinkles. Haha. :) I did do a couple with 2 colors of sprinkles on 1 cookie; next section.
Adding 1 color of sprinkles:
- Pour some sprinkles on a plate.
- Spread some frosting on the cookie (Mint Milano or skinny sugar cookie pieces you made).
- Press the cookie into the sprinkles. Voila!
To do 2 colors of sprinkles on 1 Mint Milano:
Unfortunately, you can't cut Mint Milanos in half to form slender feathers. They fall apart. (See below) . You can use 2 different colors of sprinkles on 1 Mint Milano to give the illusion of slender feathers as I noted above. :)
- Spread frosting on only half of the Mint Milano, add sprinkles.
- Spread frosting on other half of the Mint Milano, add the other color of sprinkles.
If you put frosting on the whole cookie at once, then only the first color of sprinkles will stick.
Assembling the Turkey
It took about 25 minutes for the brownie cupcakes to bake.
About 5-7 minutes after they came out of the oven (they were not completely cool), I started assembling the turkey brookies. I thought that when the warm brownies cooled it would form sort of a glue/mortar around the cookies after I stuck them in. :)
This is what the brownies looked like coming out the oven; the puffed up some, but not that much (left photo).
Using a butter knife on one side of the brownie cupcake, I cut a slit wide enough for the head about ~1" or 1 1/2" wide and ~3/4" or 1" deep.
On the other side of the brownie cupcake, I cut slits for the feather cookies, also ~3/4" or 1" deep.
I stuck the head and feathers in.
That's it! Give it a try! We are good at this!
Some experiments I tried when coming up with this project are below this row of pics.
Experiments When Coming Up w/ This Project / Things that Didn't Work:
1.) It's hard to cut turkey bodies out of brownie pan. I couldn't get them out of the pan. That's why I made them in cupcake cups.
[Side note: This baking hack I saw on YouTube -- using foil to make a smaller baking pan did work!]
2.) I couldn't make a turkey with a skinny neck (as it should be); I tried. They fell over. :) Picture on the right.
[Side note: I couldn't get this baking trick I saw on YouTube to use a metal spoon to make a cookie spoon didn't work. I think they were trying to make a cookie spoon to drink hot cocoa or something. I didn't re-watch the video before trying. I will try it again for something else and post. :) ]
3.) Unfortunately, you can't cut Mint Milanos in half to form slender feathers. They fall apart. You can use 2 different colors of sprinkles on 1 Mint Milano to give the illusion of slender feathers as I noted above. :)